100 Crore Doses Administered In India, But What Does It Mean?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with many other leaders commemorated the occasion by changing their social profile pictures to a graphic congratulating India in reaching the 100 crore doses mark.

On October 21, the Indian government announced its achievement of having administered 100 crore (1 billion) doses of the Covid vaccine. The achievement was hailed as a milestone for the country, in its efforts to vaccinate its citizens against the coronavirus.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with many other leaders celebrated the occasion by changing their social profile pictures to a graphic congratulating India for reaching the 100 crore doses mark.

However, for a population of over 1.3 billion people, what does this 100 crore dose signify? And where does that leave us compared to other countries.

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Who's Fully Vaccinated?

Counting the number of doses does not give insights to the actual state of a country's vaccination drive because it does not highlight which part of the population is fully vaccinated, as opposed to only partially vaccinated.

To make India's vaccine drive comparable with other countries, we decided to rather pick the following figures - fully vaccinated population, partially vaccinated population and unvaccinated population.

For comparison, we picked the data from 11 other countries - China, USA, UAE, Japan, Germany, Russia, France, UK, Spain, Canada, and Italy.

The Issue With 'Number Of Doses'

While 100 crore doses may seem like a cause for celebration for India, given the size of our population, its overall result (of fully vaccinating only 21% of the population) is still falling short, as compared to the countries we analysed.

While taking a look at the absolute number of doses administered in each country, it is also pertinent to note that all the countries have a different vaccination drive.

Unlike India that has only vaccinated the adult population as of yet, many countries like the UK and US have also given the Covid vaccine to those between the ages of 12-18.

Similarly, a few countries are administering the Covid vaccine produced by Janssen. This vaccine is a single dose vaccine and thus people who have received it are also considered to be fully vaccinated.

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In India's case, there is no clarity yet as to when the under-18 population will receive their jabs. Earlier this year, the government had expressed its plans to vaccinate those between 12-18, prioritising those with comorbidities - Zydus Cadila's 3-dose COVID-19 vaccine (ZyCoV-D) is already approved for emergency use in children aged 12 years and above. However, a particular timeline for the vaccine rollout has not yet been announced.

Furthermore, the most administered vaccine in India is Covishield. The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation had recommended that the duration between the two shots of this vaccine be at least 12 weeks. Vaccines such as Moderna and Pfizer have to be taken within a month. This shorter gap between the two shots has also assisted the other countries in fully vaccinating a larger proportion of their population.

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Only 21 per cent of the population being fully vaccinated can also be attributed to the increasing vaccine hesitancy among people as well India's vaccine export regime. Under the Vaccine Maitri Initiative, back in March, India exported a large amount of vaccines which led to shortage in the country. The pace of vaccination improved after export of vaccines was stopped.

Editor's Note: In the previous version of the chart above, we had used two separate datasets, one of which was outdated. It has now been updated to show the latest figures of fully and partially vaccinated people in India.

Updated On: 2021-10-23T14:27:58+05:30
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